First Night of Chanukah

I just lit my first Chanukah candle of the year. Millions of people around the world lit one small candle tonight to commemorate the victory of the few over the many that was waged over 1000 years ago.

The time of the Jewish Temple, when the story of Chanukah originated, was a very dark moment. The Maccabees who were fighting against the Greeks finally recaptured their sacred Temple, only to find out that it had been desecrated and destroyed. They were heartbroken. What were they to do?

In all of that darkness and despair, they made the effort to ignite one small flame amid the destruction. They struggled to find any suitable oil, and when they finally did, it miraculously lasted much longer than they had expected.

That little flame they lit was a source of inspiration for them. It gave them hope. Even when so much was horrible in the world, they were able to see that flame and become motivated to rise again.

It’s a scary world out there. A lot of bad things are happening, and a lot of innocent people are suffering. Chanukah lights, Christmas trees and Kwanza candles are all illuminated this time of the year to remind us that even in the coldest winter, in the darkest of nights, we can triumph. We have a hope to cling on to, and we must never give up.

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